Ian Scoones is co-director of the ESRC STEPS Centre at the University of Sussex and joint convenor of the IDS-hosted Future Agricultures Consortium. He is an agricultural ecologist by original training whose interdisciplinary research links the natural and social sciences and focuses on the relationships between science and technology, local knowledge and livelihoods and the politics of policy processes in the context of international agricultural, environment and development issues.
A social and institutional perspective is at the centre of his work, which explores the linkages between local knowledges and practices and the processes of scientific enquiry, development policy-making and field-level implementation. Over the past twenty-five years, he has worked on pastoralism and rangeland management, soil and water conservation, biodiversity and conservation, as well as dryland agricultural systems, largely in eastern and southern Africa. A central theme has been a focus on citizen engagement in pro-poor research and innovation systems. Most recently he has been working on the governance of agricultural biotechnology in India and veterinary/animal health science and policy in Africa, including projects on livestock marketing and foot-and-mouth disease in southern Africa and the international responses to avian influenza.